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< prev - next > Social and economic development discovering technologists (Printable PDF)
Gender and Technology Training Guidelines
It too, underwent a number of variations by its users, who were always trying to
maximise its usefulness and trying to avoid the danger of starting a fire. One of the
variations was adapted from a lamp that one of the women had, made by her father a
tinsmith. This stimulated the most interest among the women. They worked on the
drawbacks of this lamp, added a few other elements and finally perfected a
satisfactory model.
In the process of making the lamp the women created some imaginative instruments
to make do for the lack of tools such as pliers and electric soldering irons. A
mechanism called the metal window was used. A manual instrument made from
metal scraps operated this. Knitting needles and crochet needles were used to draw
the patterns on the tin. Tins that opened easily and pieces of iron to wrap the circular
parts were commonly used. To make the lamp more use-worthy women discovered
ways to make the kerosene fumes safer. Other adjustments were - mechanisms for
faster lighting, making better wicks, making it more safer on the wall, saving fuel by
using water and even making it more artistic and attractive by means of colourful
These lamps were very cheap as they were made out of disposable materials, and fuel
consumption was minimal. They could be used for about 8 hours and they were easy
to make and to maintain. One of the drawbacks was the faint smell of kerosene that
lingered in the house.
The women worked on a kind of production line because some of them were more
skilful at preparing the materials, others at cutting, others at assembling and others
at finishing off. They were also planning processors of fumigation which was very
expensive and only done by the municipality. This would provide them with
employment as well, since it was a necessary and urgent service.